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Old 07-21-2009, 10:11 AM
 
Location: AZ
2,255 posts, read 3,804,690 times
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This may sound like a dumb question- but is it possible to get fleas in your house without your pets having them? The pets don't have fleas but I keep finding these little bugs and I don't know what else they could be.
I am at my wits end- since everyone else complains they don't see these bugs. I have seen them many times here and there.
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Old 07-21-2009, 10:16 AM
 
Location: California
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Yes....I had a neighbor who was infested with fleas and had no pets. Her son loved to play in the yard and it was he who brought them in. Fleas are very tiny and jump...not crawl or walk. They also have to eat...so if no animal is present, it will be you they are feasting on. Their bites itch like crazy! Why not bug bomb and kill whatever it is you may have...fleas or not.
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Old 07-21-2009, 10:20 AM
 
Location: Kirkwood, DE and beautiful SXM!
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You probably have fleas in your grass or possibly in outbuildings if you have them. However, as you know, if you don't get rid of the fleas, your pets will become infested also. Here's some info from Ickiology:

"First off, a little bit about fleas. Fleas are a wingless, blood sucking insect that feed on animals (and therefore humans). There are good number of different flea species, but the most common flea causing problems in a household is the cat flea, or Ctenocephalides felis. The good news with this flea is that it doesn’t transmit plague (unlike the rat flea which spreads bubonic plague). Since I don’t have a specimine to identifiy, I’m going to assume that Jory has C. felis. The bad news is it is still a blood sucker, and therefore still really annoying to anyone unlucky enough to get infested.

Most fleas spend their time on animals, blood feeding for several days or until they are groomed or knocked off. The cat flea doesn’t infest humans (i.e., doesn’t stay on humans for long periods) but can and will bite humans for a blood meal. Flea bites present as small, round, red marks, usually on the ankles or lower legs. People who are sensitive may see raised bumps and experience intense itching and rashes. Sever allergic reactions take approximately 12-24 hours to develop, and can last over 7 days. In the case of a bad reaction, a topical antihistamine cream, and an oral antihistamine may be used to treat the symptoms.

Fleas have a relatively simple life cycle, which makes interrupting said life cycle easy. The female flea must take a blood meal in order to produce eggs. She then lays her eggs within 2 days of her first blood meal. The eggs are found in pet bedding, carpet, upholstery–that sort of place. The eggs are tiny (1/50th of an inch), white, and generally round. They are rather delicate, and can be dried out by many products. A single female flea can lay up to 27 eggs per day for around 9 days.

The female flea also excretes what she doesn’t use of the blood meal as feces, often termed “flea dirt” which serves as food for her young. The feces looks just like dirt, and can most easily be seen in the fur of infested animals. FYI–if you were to place this dirt in water, it would rehydrate and turn the water bright red. Science is fun AND interesting!

The eggs hatch between 2 days and 2 weeks after being laid (depending on temperature–optimum temperature for this species seems to be between 80 and 90 F, with a relative humidity of 70%. They will hatch at lower and higher temperatures, just not as quickly or readily. They don’t seem to hatch below 50 F) into a small, worm-like larvae. These larvae are the most vulnerable stage. The larvae live in the carpet, bedding, or upholstery, feeding on flea feces in those same areas. The larvae go through several stages, or instars, in this form, and stay as larvae for as few as 6 days, to well beyond 2 weeks, once again depending on temperature.

Once the larvae have finished their instars, they begin to collect debris in their immediate area–things like hair, dust, dirt, fibers, etc. They use these debris and a silky material produced by their saliva to construct a hard casing around their entire body. This casing is almost impossible to see, because it is to completely camouflaged with its surroundings. The flea undergoes a complete metamorphosis inside the casing, where it breaks down its body into its basic components and reforms it into the adult flea form. This stage is very hardy–it can take a lot of stress and abuse without dying. In fact, most insects use the pupal form to survive adverse conditions, such as winter or drought. Fleas are no exception, and it is very, very hard to kill the pupal stage.

Pupae take between 7 and 10 days to emerge into adults. However, if conditions are adverse, they newly formed flea may stay in the pupal casing until it is all but guaranteed a blood meal after emergence. This is why an empty home can suddenly have a flea infestation right after you move in. Fleas can stay dormant in the pupal stage for months at a time, waiting to sense a blood meal. Vibrations caused by walking and moving appear to trigger the dormant insects into emerging all at the same time. Fun for all involved!

Newly emerged adults must have a blood meal to survive. They will attach to any animal that happens to be in the area, feed, mate, and repeat the cycle.

So, in an indoor habitat, let’s assume that the average temperature is 75 F most of the time. This would put the life cycle at 1 week for the egg stage, 10 days for the larvae, and 10 days for the pupae (approximately). That’s about 27 days for a flea to go from egg to adult. Assuming Jory moved into his home and didn’t notice any adult fleas when he went to look at the place, then all the fleas he’s dealing with now were in the earlier stages of development–egg, larvae, or pupae. So what should he do?

Provided you don’t have a pet that is re-infesting the house, fleas are rather easy to control. The simplest thing to do is vacuum. A recent study showed that vacuuming up any stage other than pupae kills the flea (so eggs, larvae, and adults are all killed by the vacuum) so the first step to control is to vacuum any and all areas that are infested. Make sure you include upholstery, beneath furniture, and along edges. Jory mentioned that he thought there may be some fleas beneath the linoleum. Remember that all an immature flea needs to survive is flea dirt, so it’s very possible for fleas to live in all kinds of habitats. Vacuum wherever fleas are suspected.

Flea bombs are a way to quickly kill adult fleas, but they present their problems. They must be used in a tightly closed area, and are designed for specific square footage. If you attempt to use a bomb incorrectly, it will not kill the adults at all. Secondly, there are really only a few pesticides licensed for indoor use. Fleas have this annoying ability to evolve, and the more they are exposed to a pesticide, the more likely they will become immune from it. Jory has tried the flea bombs, and says they fleas come jumping out right afterwards. This tells me they have been exposed before, and are now immune to whatever is in the bomb. I suggest finding another type of bomb with a different pesticide in it, or simply physically remove the fleas with a vacuum.

Diatomaceous earth is a great way to kill eggs and larvae. The fossilized diatoms act as razor blades, cutting the integument of the fleas to ribbons, and causing the fleas to dehydrate or bleed to death. This doesn’t work as well on adults, but works a bit. Spread the DE around any areas where fleas are found, wait a bit, then vacuum it up.

The biggest thing to do is wait. Remember the life cycle–you can easily kill the eggs and larvae, but the pupae are a pain. You may have to wait them out for up to 2 weeks. Vacuum at least twice a day, wash bedding, and clean upholstery, and within a month you should have interrupted the life cycle. Good luck!"
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Old 07-21-2009, 10:39 AM
 
Location: AZ
2,255 posts, read 3,804,690 times
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Thank you ShelbyGirl 1 and SMXGirl.

No young kids here. The dog goes out in the backyard but that's it and has been checked for fleas.
The cats haven't ever been outside.

ShelbyGirl 1- How do you bug bomb?
Do you bomb every room individually in the house or what?
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Old 07-21-2009, 10:57 AM
 
Location: California
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The bombs you buy will give you a square footage it covers ....Remember to cover all foods, put toothbrushes and cups in a drawer...cover fish, remove all pets and seal the house up. We do our garage every now then, just to rid of roaches (we live in Texas) and spiders. I think the time is about 4 hrs sealed up...give or take...and then air out well before you bring the pets back in. It is a lot of work and a pain...but rids the house of "whatever'. If they are fleas...you will have to repeat in a few weeks to get those eggs that hatched. Remember to treat the backyard as well. Does not help to treat one and not the other.
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Old 07-21-2009, 11:31 AM
 
Location: AZ
2,255 posts, read 3,804,690 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ShelbyGirl1 View Post
The bombs you buy will give you a square footage it covers ....Remember to cover all foods, put toothbrushes and cups in a drawer...cover fish, remove all pets and seal the house up. We do our garage every now then, just to rid of roaches (we live in Texas) and spiders. I think the time is about 4 hrs sealed up...give or take...and then air out well before you bring the pets back in. It is a lot of work and a pain...but rids the house of "whatever'. If they are fleas...you will have to repeat in a few weeks to get those eggs that hatched. Remember to treat the backyard as well. Does not help to treat one and not the other.
Cover clothes and furniture too?

This problem is such a nightmare.

I don't have anywhere to take the pets for 4 hours or more- 3 cats and 1 dog.
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Old 07-21-2009, 11:38 AM
 
Location: California
9,775 posts, read 24,213,568 times
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No, clothes and furniture don't need to be covered...Just your food items...I usually take things like my container holding my cooking spoons etc, off the counter...
Maybe dog outside and kitties to a friends or relative. Or just go for a loooooong ride! I know, it is quite the hassle. You could always board for a day, but that too can get expensive.
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Old 07-23-2009, 02:57 AM
 
Location: Cushing OK
10,090 posts, read 7,580,761 times
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If you have carpet and sand fleas you don't need a pet in sight. When I lived at the beach, just walking through the yard was all it took. They don't need an animal to roost on either. Your carpet will do just fine.

We never succeeded in getting rid of them and we couldn't use frontline on us dang.

I've always used the smoke based bombs rather than the spray bottles when we had to treat the house. Be very very careful reading the instructions and never mix the types, use all or none. But it reaches further into places like carpet and furnature. It does a reasonable job on ants too if you know where they come from and put the thing close. It doesn't leave a film on your stuff though any pets must be removed and food bagged.

There is something on the market, not sure what its called, but it stops larval fleas from growing out of that stage. so the current crop die off eventually, and anything in your carpet which is growing into a flea will never make it. Takes a little longer and may be a good backup for other means.

What I found works best... no carpet. They think you put it there just for them to settle into.
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Old 08-12-2009, 02:19 PM
 
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I have a weird situation. I sublet an apartment recently for 3 months but only spent 2 nights in the place and the rest of the time at my boyfriend's. I moved from the sublet on Sunday to a new apartment. I spent a few hours total on Friday and Saturday packing up. On Saturday afternoon, my roommate took me up to see the apartment on the 4th and 5th floors. I woke up Sunday morning with a few bites and moved into my new place and went back up to my boyfriend's. Sunday night I found about 30 more bites. I contacted my former roommate who found out the cat at the apartment on the 4th and 5th floor - the tenant had left 10 days ago with the cat - had a major flea infestation. I'm terrified now that I brought the fleas to my new apartment, to my boyfriend's apartment. Is it possible that the fleas just noshed on me on Saturday and that's it or is it plausible to assume I've now carried them to two more apartments?
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Old 09-10-2010, 04:22 PM
 
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my babysitter has fleas in their home can my kids or myself bring them to our home?
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